Dale Earnhardt Jr., one of racing’s most popular personalities and an NBC Sports motorsports analyst, will attend his first Indianapolis 500 on May 26 as a member of NBC Sports’ broadcast team, the network confirmed Wednesday.
Earnhardt Jr., who made 17 career appearances in NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, will serve as a roving reporter on race day, exploring the expansive scene that includes hundreds of thousands of spectators at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and contributing to NBC Sports’ pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage alongside Rutledge Wood. Earnhardt Jr. will also be featured on NBCSN’s Indy 500 coverage originating from Indianapolis Motor Speedway during race week.
“Dale Jr. is one of the most popular personalities in racing history, so adding Dale to our inaugural broadcast the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on NBC was a no-brainer.” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President, Production, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “Dale has never been able to attend the 500, and now he will have the opportunity to experience every aspect of this massive event — from the party in the Snake Pit and the hundreds of thousands of fans in the grandstands, to the key strategic decisions and bold moves on track that will ultimately crown the 103rd Indy 500 champion.”
“I can’t wait. This is an event I have wanted to attend for as long as I can remember,” said Earnhardt Jr. “To get this first Indy 500 experience in this capacity — as part of the broadcast team with NBC Sports — is a dream. That said, I fully understand the responsibility we have of bringing this race to television viewers across the country. There’s no better broadcast team to do it. I’m blessed to be a part of it.”
In addition to his work on NBC Sports’ NASCAR coverage, Earnhardt Jr. has also contributed to the network’s presentations of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Super Bowl LII, and the Stanley Cup Final.
Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Townsend Bell (analyst) and Paul Tracy (analyst) will call NBC Sports’ inaugural Indianapolis 500 broadcast on NBC, which will feature a total of 14 commentators, the most-ever for NBC Sports’ coverage of IndyCar. Additional elements of the commentary team include host Mike Tirico and former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick (studio analyst).
Krista Voda will also host pre- and post-race festivities, while Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Kevin Lee and Jon Beekhuis will serve as pit reporters, along with RACER’s Robin Miller and reporter Dillon Welch.